Welcome to The Vienna Project newsletter.
If you are receiving this newsletter for the first time, you may want to visit the project website www.theviennaproject.org to first gain an overview of the project.
Memory is attached to ideas about people and place. The Vienna Project, a multi-media social action memorial project, takes place on the streets of Vienna for a reason. We wanted to make memory a public conversation, visible to ordinary people going about their business. We close with a focus on names, remembering the victims of National Socialism.
The â€œNaming Memorialâ€ will represent The Vienna Projectâ€™s culminating event. Using flexible design strategies developed in a layered presentation, the memorial project solves complex issues of representation regarding the different victim groups. The Vienna Project concludes on 7.May 2014, midway between Austriaâ€™s â€œDay of Remembranceâ€ and â€œVictory Dayâ€ in Europe.
Current Programming: Guided Tours and Performance Art
The 38 Sites and the Naming Memorial function as book-ends for The Vienna Project. In an effort to extend programming for the 38 sites, we have developed a dynamic series of guided tours.
The Vienna Project has four actual tours and some virtual tours in the works. Kate Melchior, our tour researcher and guide, and Peter Mlczoch consultant and partner in project development, have created different sets of tours based on the history of National Socialism in Vienna between 1938-1945. The tours, conducted in German or English, represent extensive research and cover the following topics:
The tours are a part of our educational outreach and will also support the projectâ€™s closing events (visitors can download a calendar for a listing of dates and times).
- Highlights of the Ringstrasse Revisited with Kate Melchior
- Political Systems: National Socialism in Vienna with Kate Melchior
- A Day in the Life: Pre-War Jewish Communities of Vienna with Kate Melchior
- Destroyed Jewish Culture in the Second District with Peter Mlczoch
We are currently exploring ideas to extend our tour programs on our Smartphone app to include tours in neighboring countries, perhaps with our project partners in Prague. Our video artist, currently in Shanghai, is investigating Jewish history pertaining to Austrian survivors escaping the Shoah by fleeing to Shanghai. A tour of memory sites in Shanghai is another idea under consideration.
A vibrant performance art program, developed under the leadership of Dr. Ildiko Meny is currently underway. This program activates the memory spaces with contemporary interventions that harken back to the history of National Socialism. Contemporary artists, activist, poets, musicians, and writers, have reserved use of the Memory Spaces as sites to sponsor contemporary commentary about acts of perpetration and persecution under National Socialism. Video excerpts will appear on the Smartphone app soon.
New opportunity for participation: Family members and historians holding archival letters written by Austrian victims or survivors of National Socialism, and coming to Vienna for closing events can participate in a â€œread-a-thon" of the letters on 6. May 2014, from 14:00-16:00. We hope to have multiple memory spaces simultaneously activated by readers, so that the city is filled with the voices of memory for a period of two hours. See calendar for updates.
Closing Events: National Library and Naming Memorial
Our Closing Ceremony will take place at the illustrious Austrian National Library at the Hofburg Palace, founded by the Habsburgs in the 14th century. The ceremony will include opening remarks by prominent city officials, a satellite welcome from Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, a â€œMemory Mapâ€ presentation by artist Nikolaus Gansterer that includes readers of archival letters, and a talk with the celebrated Austrian writer, Doron Rabinovici about "Who is a victim?" We will conclude conversations about memory with a musical program as we transition to The Vienna Project's Naming Memorial.
At 21:00, guests will enter Josefsplatz to behold a breathtaking image of our "Naming Memorial," designed by memory artist Elisabeth Wildling, and representing 85,000 names of victims projected onto the walls surrounding the plaza. Lit up with memory, Josefsplatz will provide a communal and reverent moment of remembrance. An invitation postcard can be downloaded here in English or German.
The Closing Ceremony and Naming Memorial will deliver a powerful conclusion to The Vienna Project. Please use the RSVP form so that we can properly anticipate audience capacity.
Project funding comes from many sources: grants, foundations, private donors, corporations and Kickstarter campaigns. This month we plan to launch a new Kickstarter campaign to help fund the final stretch of The Vienna Project.
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that supports artists engaged in creative project development. It is especially geared to support innovative projects approaching the final stages of project completion. The 2014 campaign will be coordinated by Hesper Juhnke, a recent graduate of Lesley Universityâ€™s Expressive Therapies Program. She will be joined by our 2013 Kickstarter coordinator, James Parsons, a current grad student at Lesley University, and Kabren Levinson, The Vienna Projectâ€™s CTO. The â€œFriends of 1938â€ committee will also support the campaign. Visit our former â€œMapping 1938 Viennaâ€ Kickstarter webpage to learn more about how Kickstarter works. We have new and exciting backer gifts, including original art to offer as we get ready to launch our 2014 â€œNaming Memory: Culminating Events for the Vienna Projectâ€ campaign.
I look forward to these next few months as we bring this amazing project about memory to its proper resting place. See you in Vienna!
Karen Frostig and The Vienna Project team